Mumbai: Delhi Daredevils, who are already out of the reckoning for this year`s Indian Premier League playoffs, have performed below par for the major part of their campaign, feels the team`s top run-getter Jean-Paul Duminy.
"We need to put in a big performance (tomorrow against Mumbai Indians). We know we were below par for at least 10 games. We have nothing to lose and will go out and give it our best shot," said the South African batsman ahead of their penultimate match of the season.
The Daredevils have slumped to seven straight losses and have just two victories in 12 games under their belt which has placed them at the bottom of the eight-team table.
The 30-year-old from Cape Town, who has played 55 T20 Internationals for his country and scored over 1300 runs, feels the Daredevils have not fired in all three departments of the game together which has hurt their progress.
"We have done well in patches. It`s about putting good performance, in terms of the whole game, together. We have done only one thing right at most times. If we had batted well we had not bowled well and if we bowled well we had not bat well in that game. If we can get all three disciplines (including fielding) right we would give ourselves a good chance," he said.
Duminy, with 357 runs from 12 games at a 50-plus average, has been the most consistent batsman for his team but refused to blame any individual for the team`s poor show.
"It can happen to anyone. I can`t sit and blame any one person. Every individual will have to take responsibility. We have been below par but the morale is still good and to me that`s a sign of good things to come," said Duminy.
Duminy said the franchise has put together a new squad but quickly added he was not offering any excuse.
"It`s a new franchise in terms of new set of players. There are fresh faces, a lot of young guys. I am not using that as an excuse. Certain guys struggling for form. We know we have to come back strong next season. We have got two more games got to give them our best shot."
"Every individual player will be disappointed including myself. I am trying to improve constantly. It`s been a reasonable season for me but there is definitely room for improvement." said Duminy who has played 24 Tess and 115 ODIs for South Africa.
The South African felt the Daredevils had a good bowling attack but had not performed well.
"In Powerplays we have not struck too many times and towards back end of the innings too too many things have not gone our way in the bowling department. We have the potential to be a good bowling attack and hopefully we will do well in the next season."
Looking back at the tournament as a whole, he was of the opinion that batsmen have been very innovative this season.
"It (IPL) is getting stronger and stronger. Batsmen are coming up with more innovative shots. Bowlers are honing in on their skills. Competition is tough and is going to get tougher. Everyone is trying to improve. We are seeing closer games this year. This year`s IPL has been exciting and it`s great to be part of it," he said.
He pointed out that every player needs to excel in at least two departments of the game in T20 format.
"You need to be contributing in at least two departments, if you are bowling or batting then the fielding has to stand up. Fielding is a major part of T20 cricket," said Duminy.
Looking ahead to his country`s upcoming visit to Sri Lanka in the middle of the year, Duminy saw his IPL stint as a positive one.
"Definitely it`s (IPL stint) going to be good for me. We will be facing similar conditions. We will play 2 Test and 3 ODIs and this is obviously going to help. Have been facing a lot of spin on turning tracks. Even if it is T20 cricket, you can take that confidence to Sri Lanka," he explained.